Mkukula Magistrate’s Court in Dowa has ordered a South African cocaine dealer to pay K700 000 or spend five years in jail.
SiyabongaKom, 28, was intercepted and arrested at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe last Friday after he was found with cocaine weighing 4.2 kilogramme (kg) concealed at the base of his traveling bag.
He was charged with illegal Importation of Dangerous Drugs contrary to Section 11 (A) of the Penal Code as read with Regulation 19 of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
Kom pleaded guilty and in his mitigation, he asked the court to be lenient considering that he does not have any relation in Malawi.
But First Grade Magistrate Cecilia Onsewa said Kom deserved a stiff punishment to deter other would-be-offenders.
“We want to send a message to the public and the world at large that we will never allow Malawi to be used as ground for drugs exportation or importation and any related criminal acts,” said Onsewa.
Kom preferred to pay the fine, but asked the court to help him liaise with his family and relations in South Africa to raise the money.